What To Eat Before And After Exercise

Many people have been led to believe that “carb loading” (pre-loading your body with carbs -often unhealthy ones – and sugars) before exercising is the most effective way to sustain effort so you can build muscle and stay healthy overall … but precisely the opposite is true!

You’d be surprised how many fitness gurus and so-called ‘experts’ will teach you about high intensity exercise regimes (HIIT) combined with (unhealthy) high carb diets. It is a complete myth that eating lots of carbs and/or drinking sugar-laden energy shakes as a way of carb overloading will give you a surge of energy at the gym… what these sugar packed over-processed drinks actually do is give you a massive and unnatural sugar rush which will cause you to ‘feel the burn’ in the gym but afterwards you will feel worse. MUCH worse!

What To Eat Before And After Exercise - Prolongevity


Exercising regularly is absolutely a good thing but you will completely negate the benefits when you consume unnatural, highly-processed foods. You may put on 2 pounds every month and lose 1 at the gym but you have still gained that extra pound…so by the end of the year you’ve actually gained 12 extra pounds.. That’s nearly a stone of extra weight gain despite all the sweating and the groaning! Carb loading will do nothing for you in the short term but WILL give you diabetes in the long term. This is absolutely not the ultimate goal of living healthy for longer.

You can find out more in this riveting podcast with Tim Noakes, Graham Phillips and Susan Flory!

Carb-loading is just another marketing opportunity for big food companies to sell you ultra processed food that are good for their financial health but disastrous for your physical health!

If you think about Olympic athletes – they are not truly healthy! They force their bodies to overperform but do not mistake this as being ultimately healthy. By overstressing their bodies to do superhuman things, they are breaking records but they’re also pushing their bodies beyond their natural limits and doing as much harm as good. By the same token if you fill your family hatchback with a tankful of rocket fuel it will, for sure, go much faster up the hill.. but then the engine will explode


More exercise is not necessarily better. The right amount of the right kinds of exercise will certainly help keep you healthy, but by doing ever more, you are not gaining any extra benefit. By forcing your body into doing an excess of intensive exercise you risk over-stressing your cardiovascular system and wrecking your skeleton. Neither of those are key to living a longer, healthier life.

So as Graham says, “if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, why not eat 20 !!??”

A prime example of these principles is our good friend Mark Felstead, founder of ‘We Love Our Hearts’, who was a triathlete and thought he was in the best shape of his life until he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during a triathlon and very nearly died.

Read more about Mark’s story here!

If you want to reap the most benefits from exercise then perhaps consider high intensity exercise (in short sharp bursts). Adding resistance exercise into the mix is often the best way to build muscle and obtain a healthy physique. We also recommend any type of functional exercise such as gardening, brisk walking and even dancing.

We also suggest that, far from eating carbs, you actually fast before exercise as this will help put your body into ketosis. Research shows that being in a state of ketosis has numerous health benefits, one of which is weight loss. Ketosis can help you feel less hungry, which may lead to eating less food. It can help you lose visceral fat (belly fat) while maintaining a lean mass. Generally speaking, fasted exercise will give you the most benefits.

NB please don’t try this without speaking to us first. If you are generally not healthy and your body is used to eating carbs this won’t work for you and could be dangerous

A good indicator of health is a small test you can do anywhere! Michael Mosley has a podcast on BBC Radio 4 where he reveals that standing on one leg can help improve your brain and body and could even predict how long you’ll live.

Listen to Michael Mosley’s podcast here!

How can I benefit most from exercise?

Maintain hydration

Assists in regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, preventing infections, delivering nutrients to cells, and maintaining organ function. Sleep quality, cognitive ability, and mood can also be enhanced!

Take some salts on board

Sodium plays a key role in how nerve impulses travel through the body, how muscles contract and relax, and how minerals and water are maintained. Despite what you’ve likely heard, Don’t be frightened of Salt.

You don’t need exercise calories

During physical activity, your body burns more calories than when you are sedentary. This is certainly a good thing, but people tend to wildly over-estimate how many extra calories they burn. Put simply exercise is NOT the key to losing weight

Eat a real food diet after exercise

To help your muscles recover post exercise and help build more muscle long-term focus on protein, eat some fat to satiety and you can pretty-much ignore those carbs.

Don’t avoid meat

Saturated fats and meats are not toxic and you need them in order to maintain a healthy diet as they contain vital micronutrients you can learn more about Saturated Fats here!

If you would like to find out how you can live healthy for longer under the guidance of our expert healthcare professionals with ongoing support, nutrition advice, and much much more…

What To Eat Before And After Exercise

Contact Us


    Why ProLongevity - Want to know more?

    Book a Free Health Assessment